As I write this it’s already Wednesday morning in Wuhan. So later today a group of investigators sent by the WHO will visit the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The team is scheduled to visit the Wuhan Institute of Virology Wednesday, Peter Ben Embarek, a scientist leading the WHO team, told the Global Times.
Ben Embarek told the Global Times previously that they would meet Shi Zhengli, a leading virologist from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, who was dubbed “Bat Woman” due to her years of research and achievements in research with bats and viruses.
Don’t expect much prodding of the staff there. Peter Daszak has already made it clear he thinks the lab leak idea is nonsense. Speaking of nonsense, Daszak and the WHO team visited the Wuhan wet market Sunday. What did they see there? We’ll nothing much since the area was cleared out and sanitized a year ago.
Day 3 of fieldwork for @WHO in #Wuhan: Huanan market, linked to the first cluster of #coronavirus cases. It has been closed, emptied & sanitized since 01/01/20 but team is also looking at supply chains. @PeterDaszak told me, ‘There's a lot you can do even one year in.’ @NBCNews pic.twitter.com/WG86bf086g
— Janis Mackey Frayer (@janisfrayer) January 31, 2021
This is a lot like trying to solve a crime by visiting the crime scene a year later after it has been completely emptied. According to China, samples taken at the time didn’t point to any contaminated animals at the market:
The market, which sold wild animals in addition to seafood and produce, was originally considered a likely place for the new virus to have crossed over into humans…
Medical reports have since shown that several of the earliest known cases had no apparent ties to the market.
In May, Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control, said it appeared that the market was not where the virus originated and animal samples collected from the market that January were free from the virus.
Over 300 samples taken from frozen animal carcasses at the market have been tested for the virus and were negative, according to a document published on the WHO website.
China didn’t want headlines later saying the WHO team was unable to visit the Wuhan market so they took them there even though there is really nothing to see. Tuesday the same group met with scientists at an animal disease center. Meanwhile a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman and the WHO were both busy touting China’s transparency.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the Chinese government had provided significant support and assistance to the WHO team, responding to criticism that China has not revealed much about what the researchers are being allowed to do.
“The Chinese experts have shared a lot of information and research results with the WHO team, and they had several rounds of in-depth exchanges on scientific issues of common concern,” he said.
On Monday, WHO officials in Geneva pushed back against suggestions China is being less than forthcoming about how the pandemic started.
Dr. Michael Ryan, the WHO emergencies chief, dismissed critics who said any report from the mission would be incomplete. The team “deserves the support of the international community,” he said.
Peter Daszak is already cheering on calls to support and act on the finding of the investigators despite the fact that there are no findings yet. I mean, it’s almost as if he knows what the findings are even before the trip is over.
Hear! Hear! https://t.co/nyizmfxCIr
— Peter Daszak (@PeterDaszak) February 2, 2021
I’d love to be wrong about this. I sincerely hope these investigators come back from this guided tour with something of value about the origin of the virus. So far this looks more like another carefully planned PR exercise by the CCP. Here’s last night’s a report about the market visit from NBC News: